Despite all the amazing things today's televisions can do, closed captioning in real time broadcasts is still sadly lacking, catching just certain things here and there and more often than not creating a jumbled word soup. That's why people like Virginia Moore are so important.
Virginia is a nationally certified ASL interpreter. ASL stands for American Sign Language, and it's a primary form of communication for many hearing impaired people in Kentucky. Standing beside Governor Beshear during his conferences, Virginia enthusiastically and concisely translates these important daily messages for those who cannot hear them.
Virginia learned sign language as a child from her family, out of absolute necessity. "My parents are deaf, both Mom and Dad," she told a reporter from Spectrum News 1 in Lexington. "I have a deaf sister. I have a deaf brother, and I have two other hearing sisters. So, my family taught me sign language. That was my first language."
Virginia is a strong advocate for ASL and hopes that it will become more prevalent thanks to her fantastic work. "My point really should be communication," Virginia said in a video for Kentucky Hands and Voices. "We can use ASL, or we can speak, it doesn't matter...I hope that everybody tries to learn."
Recently as part of his daily 5:00 broadcast, Beshear has begun bringing Virginia directly to the podium to teach signed phrases to all of us watching at home. The first sentence was one of the governor's mottos:
"We will get through it together."